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Repository for Administrative Data and Reports

Undergraduate Major Curricular Exceptions

Last Updated

This workbook provides data about exceptions to undergraduate major requirements for graduates since Summer 2014. This includes total exception counts for current and past major versions, exceptions/awards with comparisons to Field of Study in School/College averages, counts of exceptions according to major requirement, as well as by courses used in substitution.

Report URL
Data Cookbook URL (requires authorization)
Data Domain(s)
Academic Planning, Student Record
Access Restrictions
UW-Madison Employees (NetID Required)
Data Source Information
Badger Analytics, InfoAccess
Update Schedule
Saturdays at 11pm
Responsible Office
AIM, College of Letters and Science
Important Notes

Because of current data availability, this visualization is limited to Degree Programs and Additional Majors granted by L&S and CALS. Degree awards are only counted here for students who's exceptions are recorded in DARS and who have valid DARS audits. Some students in old Major versions or in Majors not tracked by DARS are omitted. For this reason, users who need official Major award counts should get those from Trends in Degrees and Related Data.

Exception Counts

This visualization contains exceptions applied to the Requirements in Majors of undergraduate graduates.  For exceptions in which more than one course was used to satisfy the Requirement, each course counts as one exception.  Exceptions do not count if they were processed but did not modify a Requirement in the student’s actual Major (for instance, if the student changed major version or Named Option and so no longer needs the exception).  

Major and Requirement Versions

The 'Exceptions and Exceptions/Award' tab shows data for all Major versions and Requirement versions, with previous Major versions represented with yellow and the current version represented with red.  The 'Exceptions by Requirement' and 'Exceptions by Substituted Course' default to the current Major and Requirement versions, but allow for selection of any set of versions. When switching between Majors, these filters may need to be adjusted if particular Major/Requirement versions were excluded in the previous Major. When moving from a Major with Named Options to another Major, the 'Named Option' filter must be reset to the '----' (no option) value.  In 'Exceptions by Requirement' and 'Exceptions by Substituted Course' '---' also represents exceptions for which no Subrequirement or course applied.


All offerings of active Crosslisted courses are listed throughout the visualization under a single offering (Subject and Catalog #), and exceptions for all of those offerings are combined. Offerings of inactive  Crosslisted courses are not combined, and are represented by the Subject and Catalog # under which the student registered.

Other Notes

Because of changes in how some honors degree programs were encoded in the CALS DARS, a few students are shown as completing the current version of the Major when in fact they completed an older version.  For instance, a few students in the Genetics and Genomics Major who graduated during the 2016-2018 academic years are labeled in this way.  However, this does not affect exception or degree award counts, only the labeling of those exceptions as in the current Major version.

Data Source

Information about the Requirements that students satisfied comes from the following Badger Analytics tables:


DARS batch audit data does not contain course cross-list information, and so Course ID and cross-list information is taken from the following views in InfoAccess:


Information about students' degrees (such as Award Completion Term) are taken from:


Information about student exceptions is taken from the following DARSP tables (DARS Production server):




Information about Major and Requirement versions is taken from the following DARSP encoding tables:






Name Functional Definition Data Domains
Academic Award Completion Term

The academic term in which an academic award was granted.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Year (Su,Fa,Sp)

An academic year consists of sequential summer, fall, and spring terms. For example, the 2021-22 academic years includes summer 2021, fall 2021, and spring 2022.

Academic Planning
Catalog Year and Term

The UW-Madison Academic Calendar Year and Term that determines the version of the curriculum (and set of Degree Requirements) that applies to a student. A student’s Catalog Year and Term is determined by rules set by the School/College offering the degree program. Different Catalog Year and Terms may apply to different Degree Requirements, subject to School/College policy. For instance, the Catalog Year and Term for an undergraduate student’s General Education Requirements may be determined by matriculation to any institution of higher learning, whereas the Catalog Year and Term for Major Requirements may be determined by the declaration date of the Major.

Academic Planning
Curricular Exception

An adjustment to how requirements of a given academic program (degree, major, or certificate) are satisfied, made for an individual student.

Student Record
Degree Requirement

A curricular condition for completing a Degree. Requirements may be classified as General Education Requirements, Major Requirements, etc. according to their roles within the Degree.

Academic Planning
Degree Requirement, Last Year and Term

The Last Catalog Year and Term in which a Degree Requirement applies.

Academic Planning
Named Option

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Plan Code (Academic)

A code representing an approved academic offering such as a major, minor, or certificate within an academic career and program.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Undergraduate Student An enrolled student who is pursuing a degree program that leads to a bachelor's degree. Student Record